A Protectionist Perspective: Ensuring A Georgian Future
24 October, 2015
Unlike many of my compatriots, I view my country as a sentient creature, a single organism. The mountains are its bones, the earth its flesh, and the people its blood. And just as no living being can exist without its vital fluids or internal organs, so are all of the country’s components tightly and inseparably intertwined, forming a living, breathing being, complete with its dreams, ambitions and hopes. Every part, every cell of this organism works towards its continued survival and
the fulfillment of the goals it has set for itself.

“Tolerance and apathy are the last virtues of a dying society.” - Aristotle

For this reason, I, being a tiny but very cautious part of this huge being, view everything pertaining to my country through a very simple but versatile prism. My analysis amounts to a single but all-encompassing question: “Is it good for Georgia?” What qualifies as good, you might ask. Well, I am not big on relativism: Anything that ensures the existence of the Georgian state in the future, its steady development and its independence in all respects, along with the wellbeing and integrity of its people and culture is good; anything that does not qualify towards this goal needs to be tossed aside. It may be a crude and inflexible way of judgment, but it is effective nevertheless.

I have similarly stringent views on those who function as Georgia’s brain. My idea of perfect leadership is a group of fiercely intelligent people who have fully renounced material wealth and personal interests in favor of those of their country, which they love with undying passion. These people should be the flesh and blood of their homeland, its essence made manifest – regardless of how they come into power. Ideology doesn’t matter that much – only that the people at Georgia’s helm sincerely care about their country’s and their people’s well-being.

I am not a big fan of democracy, especially in its representative variety. No one is going to convince me that Mr. Talking Head #641276 represents the interests of the Georgian people, especially if all he does is try to win supporters through primitive appeasement, spew empty promises, accrue personal wealth and power, and disagree with Mr. Talking Head #641277 on some trifle issues. When democracy leads to consensus, peace and prosperity, it is a good thing. When democracy turns a country into a toxic, stagnant pool of infighting and discord, when it pits people who share the same blood against each other, not so much.

However, in order to achieve the long-term goals stated above, those who abuse the trust put into them by the people need to be held accountable – and vigorously so. A figure in power who consciously makes or supports a step that brings harm or misfortune to the country that he was entrusted with must be charged with high treason. If this step can be attributed to incompetency or naivety, then the responsibility should fall on this figure’s fellows – those tasked with tempering and restricting these traits. Likewise, a businessman, especially a foreign one who intentionally commits acts that harm the country’s economy must be punished with utmost strictness. The same applies to those who damage, twist or mock Georgia’s cultural heritage, physical or not. Not a single person living on Georgian soil, native or not, should be allowed to hurt our people in mind, body or soul.

In the times of my childhood, Georgia was a terrible state in every single regard – ruined, corrupt, poor, rotten to the core and rife with crime. It was made such not only by the inhuman creatures that ruled it for 70 years, but also by selfish opportunists, native and foreign alike, who picked the country apart like hyenas feasting on a corpse. Almost every single Georgian I knew or met hated his own country, calling it hell on earth or worse; their ultimate dream was to escape it forever. Back then, Georgia was indeed a rotting carcass, but the spark of life, this barely visible flicker, was miraculously preserved within it and allowed to flourish anew. People once again found respect and happiness both for themselves and their country. Not everything was going well – coming back from the dead is not an easy ordeal – but things were better than before. Unfortunately, the winds that are blowing today clearly threaten to extinguish that flicker of life yet again, and this is something I am determined to help prevent.

I could write volumes on this subject, but will instead confine myself to the following simple truth: There is only one Georgia. There is only one place a Georgian can call home and only one place where he can truly live and thrive. If our country is lost, so are we. If the sublime, inextricable connection between our land and us is severed, we will be gone forever. There will not be any second chances, no blank slates to try again. I belong to those who do not want things to ever come to this. I am a person who wants the Georgian nation to live on as long as this planet keeps turning, and I will do whatever is necessary for that to happen – regardless of what the rest of the world thinks of me and mine.

Author: Zura Amiranashvili